Keogh: ‘It would be prudent to hold FF Convention soon’

Speaking to the Roscommon People following confirmation of his re-election on Sunday night, Cllr John Keogh said it would be prudent to hold the Fianna Fáil selection convention for Roscommon-Galway constituency sooner rather than later.

In comments that will fuel speculation that Cllr Keogh will contest the convention and seek to be a candidate in the next General Election, he said: “I think, in preparation for a General Election, it would be prudent that a convention would be held sooner rather than later… so that whoever is selected will have the opportunity to get a campaign up and running and operating well in advance of it. That would be my own view.

“Would I like to contest a General Election at some point in the future, whether that’s on this occasion or perhaps on another occasion? I don’t think anyone that goes into… seeks election at any point in time, doesn’t seek to rise to the top of the political ladder”.

Cllr Keogh refused to be drawn on his intentions around seeking a General Election nomination bid, but also didn’t rule out the possibility. The Athlone LEA councillor was returned on the 7th count, having accumulated 1442 votes.

Explaining the dip in his first preference vote from 2019, Cllr Keogh said that the reasons were multifaceted. As current Cathaoirleach of the Council, he maintained that he had been disadvantaged on the campaign trail, noting that some of his competitors have been canvassing since before Christmas.

Cllr Keogh, while complimenting their performances, said that the fact that there were two new, young candidates in his area – in Cllr Emer Kelly (Ind) and 18-year-old Sam Brooks (SF) – was always going to affect his vote. He reaffirmed that his hope was always to see his running mate James Murray elected but “unfortunately that did not happen on this occasion”.